World Wetlands Day has been celebrated since 1997 to raise global awareness of the value of wetlands to humanity and the planet. This year’s theme on February 2, 2017 is:
Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction
Wetlands are defined as a land area flooded seasonally or permanently that can act as a natural buffer against disaster and play an important role in reducing the impact of extreme weather events. Flood plains act as a natural sponge absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding. Deltas release the water stored during the dry season to delay the onset of droughts and reduce water shortages. With Climate Change leading to ever increasing extreme weather events, these wetlands become more vital than ever. It is estimated that 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1990.
The loss of 5,000 square kilometres of wetland since 1930 in Southern Louisiana contributed to the devastation felt during Hurricane Katrina yet due to human activity these wetlands are still being lost at the rate of 75 square kilometres annually.
When Sri Lanka was hit by a tsunami in 2004, areas where the coral reefs are protected through a marine park the damage extended for 50m, while in areas where coral mining had degraded the reefs, the damage extended 1.5km inland.
Mangroves can help to reduce shoreline erosion and provide a reservoir for flood waters when needed. Peatlands provide an excellent storage facility for carbon dioxide to mitigate some effects of climate change. In extremely arid areas, wetlands are a natural safeguard against drought. Coral reefs provide a home for a quarter of all marine species, helping to feed the world’s population as well as protect them.
Wetlands are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet benefiting both people and the environment. The province of Ontario has more than 30,000,000 hectares of wetlands.
Although Heron Instruments is not located in a coastal area prone to natural disaster, we do have many flourishing wetlands in the surrounding area. Cootes Paradise, located at the western end of Lake Ontario and owned by the Royal Botanical Gardens, is a local marsh with the highest biodiversity of plants per hectare in Canada with 877 species, 35 of them endangered. To learn more visit https://www.hamilton.ca/city-initiatives/our-harbour/cootes-paradise-marsh
Events are being planned worldwide to celebrate World Wetlands Day. Check the following link to find one in your neighbourhood. http://www.worldwetlandsday.org/map
At Heron Instruments we will be raising awareness of Word Wetlands Day by offering a
10% Limited Discount*
On select products until February 28, 2017.
For more information please contact us at
*Offer not valid with other discounts